Question Detail

I am looking for strategies/ideas about what I can do with some students who don't even try to do the work on their own. They automatically come to me for help. Many are capable, but are not careful about reading the problem or question being asked. It primarily happens in Math. When I try to sent them back with a "reread the question" response they end up frustrated. Our population has a history of just waiting for the teacher to go over it so I don't have to try.

Feb 26, 2015 1:39pm

  • Math
  • 3


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    • Feb 26, 2015 2:15pm

      What about modeling? Have the students all on the rug (or somewhere you can see what they are doing) and then demo the type of problem/skill for them. Have a kid work with you to demo with the class, then perhaps have everyone try it using a white board.

      • Mar 17, 2015 3:12pm

        When you model a lesson, ask questions as you go rather than presenting everything at once. For example, instead of immediately demonstrating a strategy, ask kids to come up with suggestions for what to try first, next, and so on. As you go along, invite kids to summarize each step "What did we just do?" Anticipate the next step with "What do you think we can try next?"
        This involves children more actively in what would otherwise be a passive experience. Questions as you go along also model thinking strategies that kids are not aware they are using.

        Whenever a student asks for help after a demonstration or modeling, I first ask them to tell me about their assignment in their own words. Here is a typical conversation with the kind of student you are talking about.
        "Tell me what you think you need to do." [student: "I don't know."]
        "Well, what information do you have? [student: "I don't know."]
        "Well, what do you see for the first exercise. Just tell me what you see on the page."
        [student generally can answer that one]
        "OK. So what do you think you need to find out?"
        Keep asking questions with obvious answers to help children get out of the "I don't know" habit. It takes a lot of patience but is really worth the effort.
        If it is a word problem, have them use their reading skills to picture the action and become more involved readers of math.

        Every once in a while you get a student who just won't get off the mark. For these guys, I say, "Pick any problem on the page to solve. I'll check back with you in a few minutes." Generally, you will find that the student has done more than one. Then have a conversation where you ask the student to explain how he or she solved the problem.